IXYS completes acquisition of LED & display driver IC business

Switzerland - IXYS ( http:// ), a specialistr in power semiconductors, announced that it has completed the acquisition of the LED driver IC and LCD display driver IC business units from Leadis Technology ( http://www. Leadis.com ).

IXYS expects to pay about $4 million in current and deferred funds in exchange for the combined business units, including the respective units' products, intellectual property, technologies and key employees.

The newly acquired LED driver products include capacitor based DC-DC (charge pump), inductor based DC-DC (boost) and low drop-out linear LED driver ICs with integrated smart features and controls to match a wide spectrum of products and applications. The acquired LCD display driver ICs are incorporated in the smart-phone handsets of Nokia and Sony Ericsson.

This acquisition expands IXYS' market opportunity in the LED market, where it has a long-standing history in high-power LED-based lighting products. With features for integrated PWM drivers, LED temperature sensing/control, ambient light sensing/correction, and "smart" serial digital interfaces, the new LED driver ICs improve system design and time to market potentially generating greater market share in IXYS' traditional and developing applications.

The new LED driver families complement IXYS' current product portfolio, while introducing New Products in the small display (cell phones, PDAs, digital cameras), middle display backlighting (GPS units, laptops) and large display backlighting (LCD TV screens, computer screens ).

Capitalizing on IXYS' extensive range of power MOSFETs and current LED lighting solutions, the new products will seek market penetration in high-power LED based commercial lighting, including but not limited to, street lighting, architectural lighting, automotive and industrial lighting.

The newly acquired technologies are equipped for this market, as the LED drivers and controllers sense temperature, determine true color fidelity in RGB, create higher light intensity and ultimately, ensure longer LED lifetimes.

The LCD drivers purchased through this acquisition have strong penetration in the cell phone market. Recent products include the Nokia E71x, one of the industry's slimmest QWERTY based "smart phones", using the LDS342 LCD display driver IC. The LDS342 is a low power single Chip 320 x 240 landscape QVGA resolution, 16.7M color display driver with integrated controller for a Low Temperature Polysilicon Thin Film Transistor (LTPS TFT) display.

LTPS TFT is an active matrix LCD technology providing very high quality display screen performance for next generation handsets and "smart phones". Additionally, the main display for the T707 "fashion phone" from Sony Ericsson uses the integrated LDS518 LCD display driver IC.

"Expansion of IXYS' LED and LCD product portfolio is well timed, as recent research suggests that the LED lighting market is mostly growing into general illumination such as residential, commercial, off-grid and outdoor area applications, with worldwide sales forecasted to exceed $5 Billion in 2012. Such forecasts suggest strong growth potential at IXYS,” commented Dr. Nathan Zommer, CEO of IXYS.

"Simultaneously, global electronic display technologies are projected to reach $174.2 billion by 2014, with a compound annual growth rate of 12.1% from 2009 on. Our LCD technologies directly play into this burgeoning market."

"IXYS opportunistically sought acquisitions that expand its higher-margin IC businesses, focusing on complementary technologies and products that have broad applications. Both newly-acquired business lines seamlessly fit within the product portfolio," commented Uzi Sasson, COO & CFO of IXYS.

"We welcome the engineering and scientific team from Leadis, with the expectation that our combined R&D talents will expand IXYS' product range to the benefit of our worldwide customers in industrial, medical, automotive and consumer markets."

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